I had an idea for my first business, I was young and excited about making money myself, I was eager to learn everything and thought I could conquer the World of business on my own. Google was there for me if I got stuck and someone else will have come across the same issues I face so I'll find out. I had a look at what Accountancy Services I needed for my business and came across QuickBooks for about £25 a month, that seemed to do everything I needed. It looked fairly simple to use, sorted bookkeeping, linked to my bank, did payroll and wageslips, it did a VAT return too when I got to that bit.
Time went on and the business did quite well, but things started to become more complicated. I was VAT registered but wasn't sure on how I should record my purchases, there's lots of different codes, I also had no idea how I went about reclaiming the VAT. It got a bit stressful as I had the business to run. I was getting close to submitting my company accounts too which I wanted to make sure were correct, but things were more serious now and I didn't want to just wing it.
I also missed submitting the Confirmation Statement to HMRC and a couple of payroll's which got me fines. You might be reading this thinking, this guy doesn't seem that organised and you're probably right, but the point is that I had lots of other things to worry about too, like running my business and making money!
I eventually got an Accountant as I wanted to make sure it was all done properly, I didn't want any fines or have to speak to HMRC on the phone - if you've never done it, you have to wait on hold for quite a long time!
My Accountant was great, they were actually cheaper than I thought and managed to save me some money in tax, reclaim some VAT and talked through what I could claim for expenses so I'm actually better off too. They're around if I have questions or another crazy business idea that I want to check off with them.
The moral of the story is, if you don't have experience as an Accountant, Bookkeeper or working in Accounts, you're probably going to struggle with doing everything on your own and most importantly getting it right. An Accountant is there to make sure everything is above board, but also to help you get your money out of your business as tax efficiently as possible.
If I could do it again, I wouldn't have got one as soon as I setup as I didn't know if it was going to work, but a few months in, I could have saved myself a lot of headaches and probably a fair amount of cash too!